A British high school art teacher was fired after allowing female students to pose topless for an art project. However, the teacher has defended her actions, and said that the class was done in the name of art.
Emma Wright, 41, had been working as an art teacher at Huxlow Science College in Northamptonshire, England, since 2004. In 2017, she permitted a lewd photoshoot to happen in her classroom.
A probe was launched in December 2017, after her school’s head of design discovered one student’s art portfolio containing the topless photos.
The investigation found that Wright had invited a photographer who specialized in “suggestive poses” to speak to her students. During the session, the school girls – some as young as 15 – reportedly disrobed.
"The pictures showed teenage girls posing only in their underwear, while holding cigarettes and booze containers, with their hands, bottles or cans covering otherwise naked breasts," The Sun reported.
The investigation determined that there were photos of the teens "posing with their hand inside their underwear or in a pose which simulated masturbation."
The Teaching Regulation Agency ruled that the "highly inappropriate" class had not been in the best interest of "safeguarding" students.
"Whilst the panel was satisfied that there was a low risk of repetition, it did not find that Mrs. Wright had fully reflected on the safeguarding implications of allowing pupils to take photographs of themselves or others in a state of undress," said Alan Meyrick – the chief executive of the Teaching Regulation Agency.
The Teaching Regulation Agency released a report regarding the controversial art class earlier this month.
Following the investigation, Wright was fired in 2018. The Teaching Regulation Agency also banned Wright from teaching for two years.
Now, Wright is speaking out against her termination.
"The TRA has not taken that into account and they have not got an understanding of art in education, which is the basis of my letter to the TRA and MP," Wright told The Sun last week.
"I have written to my MP, the union, and the Education Minister regarding this," Wright continued. "I am a good person. I am not the person they are making out to be."
"I am hoping the local community are as shocked as I am, and as sad and angry," she added. "They know me. I have taught in that school for a long time."
Wright believes that she is the victim of "deep injustice," but will not appeal the ban because she never wants to teach again.